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1 Jun, 2013 11:08

Frankfurt riot police charge into marching Blockupy activists, scuffle with protesters

Activists of the anti-globalist Blockupy movement scuffled with dozens of riot police who charged into a marching crowd to disperse protesters, reports RT’s Peter Oliver. The march has been reportedly stopped.

#blockupy#frankfurt organizers claim police presence on route shows the authorities planned to disrupt march.

— Peter Oliver (@PeterGOliver_RT) June 1, 2013

What was supposed to be a march through the middle of German’s financial capital by anti-austerity demonstrators really lasted only about 500 meters, when several hundred riot police in full kit came among the crowd.

The protesters started throwing paint-filled objects at the police so puddles of paint are here and there, RT’s Peter Oliver reported. Later the paint filled bags were confiscated by police.

The organizers maintain there are tens of thousands of protesters and Peter Oliver witnesses a whole column of protesters going around the ECB headquarters.

The police force has split into two groups now. They do not let anybody through so the demonstration is not moving anywhere, as police and protesters are locked in a stand-off. 

Water cannons arrived at the scene of a peaceful protest, Oliver reports.

Demonstrator sits down in front of water cannon en route to #blockupy#frankfurt twitter.com/PeterGOliver_R…

— Peter Oliver (@PeterGOliver_RT) June 1, 2013

Riot police officers have already used pepper spray several times and some people have been taken away, but it is not clear if they have been arrested.

one person arrested by the police #blockupy and they want us to take an alternative route #frankfurt

— ZitterArt (@ZitterArt) June 1, 2013

RT’s crew working at the scene has been separated by the riot police dividing demonstrators. The crew reports the use of fences and barbed wire by police.

Photo from twitter.com user @PeterGOliver_RT

Protests in Frankfurt-am-Main started on Friday when some 3,000 'Blockupy' protesters, clutching signs demanding “humanity before profit”, blocked the main entrance of the ECB, the organizers announced that the coalition has “reached its first goal” of the day.

The anti-globalism march was called to celebrate the anniversary of the 'Occupy' rallies by blocking the European Central Bank. 

Image from twitter.com @PeterGOliver_RT

The protesters moved to city’s downtown from activists' camp in the Frankfurt suburbs, set up earlier.

Police reported that though some protesters thrown stones and there were some clashes at the barricades, several people were detained on Friday.

The ECB, which has headquarters at Kaiserstrasse 29, in Frankfurt-am-Main, has promised to remain operational during the planned demonstrations.

Photo from twitter.com user @PeterGOliver_RT

Blockupy activists lay blame for the debt crisis in Europe with the banks and in particular the ECB for its role in imposing austerity measures on EU citizens.

The austerity measures proposed by the so-called troika, consisting of the ECB, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission have not reduced the national debts of the European countries. An increase of taxes and cuts of governmental social programs they promote have actually worsened the situation, deepening recession and increasing unemployment in the EU dramatically.

Hanno Bruchmann, an anti-austerity activist, believes that “There have been many capitalist crises before, but now it is happening in the US and Europe, the financial crisis has transformed into a debt crisis, and now is the moment in which this has become a permanent capitalist crisis on a big scale."

“The fact that the protest is taking place in what’s supposed to be the most advanced country does show the level of the problem” Antonis Vradis, of the Occupy London movement told RT.

A demonstration in German's Frankfurt-am-Main is expected to gather up to 20,000 protesters. Several European capitals  are set to see large rallies later in the day.

Photo from twitter.com user @PeterGOliver_RT

Protesters hold posters during an anti-capitalism "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt June 1, 2013.(Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)

Riot police stand guard during an anti-capitalism "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt June 1, 2013.(Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)

In a separate rally in Berlin  people are protesting in solidarity with the  Taksim square demonstration in Turkey now into its  second day of violence with tear gas and water cannon being used.

Image from twitter.com @tubaunsal